Learn about the mission, functions, and history of the City Treasury.
Our management policies and goals
- Management of new and outstanding City debt in accordance with the City’s debt management policies, maximizing the value received from new financings and minimizing interest and transaction costs
- Management of custodial banking for all City funds by encouraging standards and practices consistent with safeguarding City funds
- Serve as the disbursing agent for payments from the City Treasury by distribution of checks and electronic payments in the most modern, secure, effective, and efficient method
- Maximize amount of cash available for investment after meeting daily cash requirements, thereby providing a source of revenue to support the City’s financial commitments
Cash management goals of the City Treasury
- Preserve principal
- Maintain liquidity
- Maximize return consistent with goals 1 and 2
Management of custodian banking for City Treasury
The four major groups are:
- City primary group of operating, capital, and related accounts.
- City departmental and agency administered petty cash and imprest funds.
- City segregated custodial accounts held by various city departments and agencies.
- Custodial advisor of county and other city government related interests.
Management of the City’s debt
The Office of the City Treasurer directly oversees the issuance of the City’s General Obligation bonds and notes, as well as debt for the Water Department, Gas Works, and Division of Aviation. The Treasurer’s primary functions in this role are to:
- Maximize the City’s value from new transactions.
- Manage and refinance the outstanding portfolio to decrease ongoing debt service costs.
- Attract and retain investors for the City’s bonds.
- Improve and maintain the City’s credit ratings.
Payments out of the City Treasury
The Office of the City Controller authorizes the issue of checks for payment of expenditures approved by the Director of Finance. The City Treasurer prints and distributes the checks or initiates electronic transfers.
- General disbursement of the City
- Debt service – Special general disbursements of the City
- Payroll – City employees
- Pension – City pension funded checks
This office was rather vaguely defined prior to the Revolution. Various acts provided that its holder be appointed by the officers of the corporation and by the City assessors and commissioners. This normally resulted in the mayor or an alderman serving as treasurer for greatly varying periods of time. While the corporation was in suspension from 1776 to 1789, the county treasurer served also as the city treasurer. The act of reincorporation of the latter date directed that the city treasurer be appointed by city councils for a term of one year. In 1807, there was added to his normal duties the supervision of the then-established Sinking Fund.
At the consolidation of the City and county in 1854, the office was made directly elective for a term of two years (increased to three years in 1873 and to four in 1909) and was given the powers and duties of the abolished county treasurer. In 1857, the supervision of the Sinking Fund was assigned to a board of commissioners of the Sinking Fund. From 1854 to 1865, the treasurer also sat as a member of the Board of Revision of Taxes, and in 1869 was designated treasurer of the Board of City Trusts although he had performed similar functions earlier. The state constitution of 1874 officially termed the treasurer a county officer, but left the organization of his office unchanged, as did the Bullitt Bill of 1885 and the City Charter of 1919.
The City Charter of 1951 recommended that the elective status of the treasurer be changed to an appointive one. Acting upon the recommendations of the Advisory Consolidation Commission, Council passed an ordinance, approved on October 16, 1953, which directed the treasurer to be appointed by the director of finance, with the approval of the mayor.
For detailed information, see chapter 3 of the City’s Home Rule Charter.